UK
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Smart Energy GB and market research firm Populus analyses the status of the UK smart meter deployment and the consumer's knowledge about smart meter technology.

The report, Smart Energy Outlook 2016, is designed to help stakeholders in the UK energy sector understand consumer awareness and experience on smart meters.

The study includes a survey of 10,000 individuals including consumers and representatives from the countries various energy stakeholders.

The survey is done on an annual basis and is now in its 4th year. This year’s edition follows the deployment of some 3.5 million smart meters across the UK.

From October 2015 to March 2016, one million units were deployed. In total, the UK is aiming to install 52 million units by 2020.

Smart meters and energy efficiency

According to the findings of the study, 80% of consumers equipped with smart meters are recording decreases in energy consumption.

The increase in energy efficiency is due to the provision of real time insights on power usage done by the smart meters. [Energy efficiency sceptics weakening UK market, finds report].

According to the survey, 58% of consumers say they have used power usage data provided by smart meters to lower their heating system down whilst 57% turned off their lights.

Furthermore, 17% have used the smart meter data to buy and install energy efficiency appliances and 35% have encouraged others in household to use less energy.

[quote] Consumer awareness on how smart meters operate and their benefits is increasing as the deployment of the metering system intensifies, states Smart Energy GB.

At the same time, the longer consumers are using smart meters the more confident they are becoming on the impact of the system on their energy usage.

Approximately 79% of consumers who have used a smart meter for less than a year said they now understand their bill is accurate. However, for those who have used the system for more than a year, 89% highlighted their confidence in accuracy of their energy bills.

Of the surveyed consumers, eight out of ten said they would recommend the usage of the new metering system to other consumers. [Smart Energy GB partners to promote the use of smart meters].

Energy management

Some of the latest findings of the survey include:

  • 69% of people with smart meters feel more in control of their energy use
  • 78% of people with IHD check it regularly

In addition to tracking the impacts of smart meters and consumer behaviours towards the new metering system, the outlook also provides the effects of in-home-display (IHD) devices on energy management.

IHDs are hand held devices used to display energy usage data provided by a smart meter installed outside households.

According to the survey, consumers using a combination of the IHD and a “smart meter are more likely-by 24 percentage points-to say they feel more in control of their energy use than those who don’t.”